Last update : February 2020

Most undocumented migrants, migrants without a valid residence permit as well as rejected refugees, have no health insurance and therefore have little or no access to health care.

download the pdf version here: w2eu_ch_medical200202.pdf)

The health system in Switzerland is generally very good, but also very expensive. A good brochure on the swiss health system in many different languages can be found here.

Even if you do not have a health insurance, theoretically every hospital is obliged to take you in and treat you, when you show up. In reality, you will face a lot of problems as the administration of the hospital will do everything to cover the costs of your treatment, some of them including (illegally) informing the migration or police officers.

If you are undocumented you are not covered by any health insurance. You have to organize an insurance by yourself otherwise you’ll have no or only limited access to health care. It is to this day not always easy to organize a health insurance if you are undocumented, however with help it is usually possible. Best to contact a local advisory center for undocumented people. Find a list here. These advisory centers can also help to find solutions to other health issues.

If you have not yet received a final asylum decision, automatically you have a health insurance and basic treatment is covered. If you receive a negative asylum decision and live in an emergency shelter you will only have very basic health needs covered. If you receive a positive decision you will have a health insurance, which will be in the beginning paid for by social services. Once you find a job, you’ll have to pay it for yourself.

The first 140 days of your asylum procedure, you live in a national asylum centre. There are supposed to be basic health services available. However, it is often hard to get an appointment with a doctor and if you get an appointment it is often hard to receive necessary treatment. It is important that you seek help outside of the centre (see contacts), if you are not given sufficient care.

If you have suffered torture or suffer from PTSD, there is limited psychological support available:
Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz Ambulatorium für Folter- und Kriegsopfer
Health center for survivors of torture
Werkstrasse 16, 3084 Wabern, 058 400 47 77,

A network of psychologists which offers psychological support for free.

Verein Papilio (Berne)
An association, which supports psychotherapeutic support for asylum seekers and refugees.,

If you are HIV positive, the AIDS-Hilfe Schweiz (support and advocacy for HIV positive people) can offer support. They have an office in every canton. Find a list here.

In different Swiss regions, there a several organisations which offer medical care for people who have no regular residence status:


SRK Kanton Zürich – Meditrina
Free basic health service for undocumented people
Kronenstrasse 10, 8006 Zürich, 044 360 28 72,


Point d’Eau Lausanne (PEL)
Free basic health and hygiene service
Avenue de Morges 26, 1004 Lausanne, 021 626 26 44,


Fri-Santé Espace de soins et d’orientation
free Basic health services.
Pérolles 30, 1er étage, 1700 Fribourg, 026 341 03 30


Dispensaire des rues de Neuchâtel
Free basic health services, open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 14:00 – 18:00 and Friday from 14:00-16:00
Rue Fleury 22, 2000 Neuchâtel, 032 721 10 25,,,

La Chaux-de-Fond

Consultations Médecins du Monde
Free and confidential Consultations from Monday to Friday, 09:30 – 12:30
La Maison de Santé, Espacité 5, 2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, 032 889 37 85,,